Board of Trustees

Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana is a registered NGO with a Board of Trustees at its apex, to govern & regulate the affairs of the organization, and lay out the guiding principles, broad framework and directions for BJS to carry out its activities within the set framework. It also monitors and guides the organization in the arena of statutory responsibilities & liabilities.

The Board consists of persons of eminence from the Jain community. The brief introduction about each member of the Board is furnished in the following:

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About Founder

Shantilal Muttha was born on 15th August 1954, in Dongarkinhi, a small village in Beed-a backward district of Maharashtra in a household with modest means. Raised and schooled without a mother whom he lost when he was only six months old, he had a difficult childhood experiencing the hardships that come with a migratory lifestyle. During his stay in a Jain boarding school from Std 8 to 11th in village Kada (dist. Beed) he closely experienced the stark social disparities and the exploitation of the marginalized at the hands of the rich. This left an indelible mark of anguish and compassion for the less fortunate on his young mind.

He subsequently went to Ahmednagar for his XII and Pune for graduation in BMCC; his first major exposure to the ways of city life. He had to fend for himself in the big city. He did odd jobs to fund his education and forged new relationships by networking with various NGOs & by working for the Jain community. Although after graduation he worked for different organizations he was constantly in pursuit of identifying the means to work for social causes due to the discomforting childhood experiences. He realized his inability to pursue his social goals by working under other people and for other NGOs. He figured out that in order to sustain his social work in a way and the scale at which he wanted, he had to have his own money. Hence he resolved to start his own business to gain financial independence for the larger cause of social development. He decided to put his social pursuits on the backfoot till he’d acquired sufficient financial capital.

From 1978-1985 he gradually established and greatly flourished in the business of real estate development. However at the age of 31, when he was at the peak of his business he radically decided to pursue his heart’s calling and foray into the realm of social development with an initial focus on family related issues. The impact of the malaise caused by regressive, inter connected practices like dowry, female foeticide and extravagant wedding expenditures had left deep imprints on his mind and this area was but a natural choice for him to venture into. He refrained from criticizing these traditional practices directly and instead chose to offer feasible, progressive alternatives to these deep rooted traditions and social norms. In order to champion for this cause he started an informal association Akhil Maharashtra Jain Sanghatana to mobilize people for supporting him in the years to come. In its wake, concepts like mass marriages, vadhu var parichay sammelans were offered and propagated as solutions to the wrongful practices of dowry and marriage extravaganza, similarly remarriages of widows/divorcees were brought to the fore.

In 1993 with the Latur earthquake, Shantilal Muttha ventured into disaster response. It is then that Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana was formerly registered as an NGO and a formalized structure of office bearers and volunteers fell into place. Subsequently under his leadership BJS also moved beyond education rehabilitation towards working for quality improvement in schools with a strong focus on values education.

His constant endeavours to delivering impactful, replicable solutions at the grassroots over last 30 years since 1985, have brought BJS in the reckoning for its work in social development, disaster response and education at the national and international level. Under his leadership BJS won the 2005 WANGO (World Association of NGOs) Education Award, the Qimpro Platinum Standard 2010 for Education and the ICHL 2013 Award for Excellence in Humanitarian Action in the category of Post-Disaster Relief Operations, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, instituted by IIM Raipur. The work of BJS during the Latur earthquake found a special mention in one of the proceedings of the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha. Similarly a special reference to the phenomenal work done by BJS during the J&K earthquake was made in the Lok Sabha proceedings in a statement made by the Ministry of Home Affairs in dated 28th November 2005.

He is a recipient of various awards for his exemplary work like the 1992 National Youth Award from Indian Institute of Youth Affairs in honour of Late Indira Gandhi, 1996 'Yuva Pune Gaurav Puraskar' given by Yuva Bharati, Pune at the hands of Mr.T.N.Seshan, 1998 Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta Award from the Diwaliben Mohanlal Charitable Trust at the hands of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Life-time achievement award , 2012, instituted by CREDAI.

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SHRI KANTILAL JAIN

Shri Kantilal Hukumchand Jain has diverse interests in social service. Among the various positions held by him are: President and Trustee of AkhilBharatiyaShwetambarSthanakwasi Jain Conference; Vice-President of AnandPrathisthan; Trustee of Siddhachalam Charitable Trust, P H Jain Charitable Trust Mumbai, ThorlyaMaasahebJijauSevaSansthaVrudhashram Nasik Road, MahavirEduational& Research Trust Mumbai etc. and Management Committee Member of Mahavir Foundation. He holds directorial positions in many organizations - to name a few - Ahimsa Hospitals Pvt Ltd Mumbai, P.H. Medical Centre, Mumbai, Ahimsa Hospitals Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Majestic Holdings &Fininvest Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Vastushri Estate Pvt. Ltd., Pune and Jain Heart Care Foundation, Mumbai.

SHRI SURESHDADA JAIN

Shri Sureshdada Bhikamchand Jain has been elected nine times to the Maharashtra Legislature since 1980. He has served as minister in various ministries like Food & Civil Supplies, Housing, Trade & Commerce, and Education.

He was instrumental in getting the religious minority status for Jains in the State of Maharashtra. He whole-heartedly contributes to social and cultural activities. He is a strong advocate of National Integration, Communal Harmony and the Upliftment of the Religious and Linguistic Minority communities. He is committed to social upliftment and building organizations’ to serve various public and social causes. He develops and motivates like-minded individuals to serve society.

He has chaired various trusts and bodies in Maharashtra. He has been felicitated with “SamajChintamaniandSamajRatna”honors conferred by All-India Jain Samaj.

SHRI RASIKLAL DHARIWAL

ShriDhariwal is the Chairman of Dhariwal group of Industries – popularly known as Manikchand Group.ShriRasiklalManikchandDhariwal's service to the community has been in various fields. He has actively participated in social causes like eye camps, Jaipur Foot camps and free education to students. He is a secular personality and contributes for the right cause, irrespective of religion or caste. He lends a helping hand during earthquakes, cyclones, floods, and war casualties like in Kargil. He offers medical aid to the poor & the downtrodden and financial assistance to needy brilliant students through his trust and foundation.

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SHRI PRAKASHCHAND SURANA

Shri Prakashchand Ratanlal Surana, a successful trading businessmen of Cotton, shares and Stock market, has been associated with BJS since more than 20 years in various capacities: from BJS karyakarta; BJS State President, Maharashtra; BJS National General Secretary; and National Council member of FJEI since its inception.

For past more than 25 years, he has been serving as the President of the Sarvajanik Co-operative Education Society, which manages three institutions at Bodwad in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. Besides he also holds the managing committee membership in various educational, social and religious organisations. He has represented University of Pune in the capacity of Senate Member and Management Council Members for 3 years.

He has also held the Directorial positions in handeshOswalShikshanSansthaJalgaon and Potential Development Academy Jalgaon; and is connected with Shree Jain Shwetamber Shree Sangh, Bodwad, AnandPratishthanPathardi, Pariksha Board Ahmednagar district and Giants InternationalBodwadin presidential capacity.

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SHRI PRAFULLA PARAKH

Sh Prafulla Parakh is the National President of Bharatiya Jain Sangathan (BJS). He was born in Nagpur in 1961, graduated in commerce faculty in 1982 and inherited the family business of dealing with Antique Jewelry and Real Estate His inner urge and trait for Social work and working for the common good on issues confronted by the society at large led him to get associated with the organization in 1992 as a volunteer and he gradually moved up the ladder to ultimately having been chosen to carry out the onerous responsibility to lead this nation-wide organization and its network of volunteers. Before taking over as National President, he has successfully led the organization in Maharashtra as State President (since 2002) and then grew onto the higher responsibility of coordinating the affairs at national level as the National General Secretary since 2010. During this course, he played a pivotal role for the organization to achieve its present foot print in many states across the country.

His entrepreneurial traits and business acumen are fortified with his genuine drive to achieve social good through a very effective network mobilization.On the social issues he has always been on the forefront to gather support for causes such as upbringing of girls, women empowerment, family counseling, tribal children uplift, career counseling, marriage related issues, Minority status rights & benefits awareness campaign, business development programs etc. Under his leadership, many of these 1st generation interventions have been innovatively transformed to engage the young generation of post-globalization era.

As a leader, Mr. Parakh has the capacity to inspire his co-workers and colleagues to achieve difficult tasks in adverse situations within dedicated timelines. This was amply proved during various disasters in the country when he was part of the core team handling massive rescue, relief and rehabilitation work. His management skills and interpersonal relationships was his asset whenafter the Tsunami in 2005, he set up base in Andaman & Nicobar Islands for more than a yearaway from his hometown and the family, and devoted his time 24x7, and oversaw the operations of reconstruction of 45 schools and hospital buildingsvirtuallysingle handedly. These and many other exemplary achievements of BJS in the sphere of disaster response have received country-wide recognition across the society, in Government and in both houses of Parliament.

Apart from organizational skill, Shri.Parakh is a good orator with deep sense of humor, having the capacity to hold large gatherings spellbound and surcharge the atmosphere by his emotive evocations. This is one of the reasons for his enviable popularity among the several hundred BJS volunteers.

Shri Parakh is a dreamer who is never out of sync with the real world we live in & is pragmatic enough to anchor all his thoughts and action in the prevailing social milieu. He knows he has to cross many hurdles but is sure to unwaveringly march ahead to hear the sweet chiming of bells of social good.
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SMT SONALI CHORDIA

Smt SonaliChordia is a Bachelor of Commerce from Symbiosis University and is a Director in Chordia Landmarks Realty Pvt Ltd, a premier real estate organization involved in construction & development, finance, marketing, sales & other activities. She has to her credit an enviable record of successfully planning and delivering many large residential & commercial projects. She is also a trustee of Dhanraj Charitable Trust, a NGO engaged in operating & managing schools for providing education facilities to students in semi-urban areas around Pune

A believer in giving learning experience beyond academics through maximum exposure in a secured environment, she has started a new venture in International Camps for children in association with Les Elfes International, a Swiss company, co-authoring its Maharashtra region.

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SMT NEHA MUTTHA

Smt Neha Muttha is an alumnus of Aurangabad University. She is a Director in the Muttha Group, and is responsible for handling the finance portfolio of the Group. She is interested in Social Development work in the field of education, family, women empowerment and youth development etc, and as a Trustee of Bharatiya Jain Sangathan takes active interest in all its initiatives, projects and programs.